Mercer President William D. Underwood announced the appointment of Dr. Priscilla Danheiser as dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, effective Dec. 15. The appointment of Dr. Danheiser, who holds the faculty rank of professor of psychology and has served as interim dean of the College since July 1, follows an eight-month-long national search.
“The search committee, after interviewing candidates from across the country, was unanimous in its recommendation of Dr. Danheiser,” said Provost Wallace L. Daniel. “Energetic, experienced, and imaginative, Dr. Danheiser has already shown exceptional ability in working with faculty members, staff, and students in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.
“In a variety of ways, the College is extremely important to the mission and the academic programs of Mercer, and Dr. Danheiser will be a very capable leader,” Dr. Daniel said. “I am grateful to the search committee and to the faculty, staff, and students in the College for their work throughout this process of selecting a new dean, and for their strong support for her recommendation.”
Dr. Danheiser has spent her entire academic career at two Macon private institutions: Mercer and Wesleyan College. She joined the psychology faculty at Wesleyan in 1978. Over the ensuing 23 years, she served the women’s college as registrar, assistant academic dean, associate academic dean, dean of the college, and vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.
In 2001, she joined Mercer as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and oversaw the Academic Resource Center, the Learning Technologies Center and Academic Computing. From 2002-2004 she served as interim vice president for student life and associate provost. Most recently Dr. Danheiser has served as associate dean for new program development in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies and interim dean of the College.
She earned an undergraduate degree in English and psychology and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia, and has completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University. Dr. Danheiser has been honored as a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow and has received numerous awards and recognitions from various academic honor societies. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at national conferences focused on excellence and innovation in higher education, including meetings of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Danheiser's research on the self-monitoring of expressive behavior and on self generated attitude change has been published in the leading social psychological journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Social and Personality Psychology Bulletin and cited in numerous psychology textbooks.
“It is an honor to be asked by President Underwood and Provost Daniel to serve the University in this new leadership role,” Dr. Danheiser said. “I look forward to working with an outstanding faculty in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies to advance the president’s strategic vision for the University and to fulfill the College’s mission of offering academic programs and lifelong learning opportunities for adults who seek leadership roles in their communities and beyond, professional transition and advancement, and lives that have meaning and purpose.”